CAMPAIGNERS are calling on the Scottish Government to increase its fund to help the world’s poorest countries deal with climate change. Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, a coalition of 55 charities and campaign groups including Oxfam, say the climate justice fund has been frozen at £3 million a year since 2016.

As Glasgow is hosting the United Nation’s climate change conference, COP26, next year, they say hosts should lead the way in helping poorer countries adapt to climate change and pay compensation for the irreversible damage caused.

It comes as Oxfam released a report saying wealthy countries are over-reporting their climate change aid by billions of dollars.

Jamie Livingstone, head of Oxfam Scotland, said: “The time is well and truly up for wealthy countries who think that it’s acceptable to respond to the global climate emergency by simply making vague vows to cut their own emissions while using creative accounting to dodge their responsibility to support the world’s poorest who did least to cause the climate crisis.

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“The Scottish Government must seize the chance to show that Scotland will not abandon those being hardest hit by climate change to their fate, instead we will significantly increase the amount of financial support we give and encourage others to do likewise.

“Doing so now, well ahead of the global climate talks in Glasgow, would send a powerful message to a watching world that climate change is not just a matter of science, technology or economics, it is a matter of justice.”

Anne Funnemark, campaign director at the Jubilee Scotland charity, said: “The climate emergency is, quite literally, costing the earth for developing countries.

“Ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, rich countries must demonstrate that they will stand shoulder to shoulder with the world’s poorest people by offering more financial support to countries on the frontline of the climate emergency to adapt to climate change while also compensating them for their losses.”

Scottish Greens environment spokesperson, Mark Ruskell, said: “Scottish ministers have recently admitted that it is climate breakdown that is wreaking havoc with out infrastructure, but that is nothing compared to the floods and drought, food shortages, and forced migration experienced by the global south in recent years.

“In that context, the Scottish Government’s eye-catching targets to reduce emissions are scarce comfort to those already living with the impact of years of inaction by the world’s richest countries.”

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A Scottish Government spokeswoman said focus was currently on “saving lives and protecting people’s jobs” amid the coronavirus pandemic, but that the climate emergency is still a priority.

She continued:”Climate justice recognises that the poor and vulnerable at home and overseas are the first to be affected by climate change, and will suffer the worst, despite having done little or nothing to cause the problem.

“Our world-first climate justice fund will continue to support communities in our partner countries of Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda become more resilient to climate change.”

“The powerful work done to date will help inform how we support climate justice initiatives as Scotland prepares for Glasgow to host COP26, and beyond 2021.”